Changing Jobs: The Best Decision You Ever MadeSo you’re feeling unappreciated, undervalued, and underpaid.  Maybe you just don’t like your job or the people you work with.  You went to school for too long and worked too hard for your degree to be doing something you hate.  It could be time for a job change.  But how do you know for sure it’s time to cut your losses?  Sometimes it just hits you one day.  Other times it’s a gradual, yet growing desire not to be at work anymore.  Whenever or however it hits you, there are certain aspects of changing a job to consider before making a decision.

The toll

Sticking with a job in which you feel unhappy or unappreciated or just plain don’t like, can pile on loads of stress, strain, and unhappiness that affect other areas of your life and well-being.  Being unhappy at work can drag you down into a funk that affects your performance at work as well as many other factors outside the workplace.  These feelings can take a toll on your health, both mental and physical, your happiness at work and at home, and even affect your friends, social life, and family.  Life is too short to continue living such an existence and exposing not only yourself, but possibly the ones you love and care about to such feelings of discontent.  While the money might be good and the benefits better, sometimes it is best to cut your losses and do what’s best for you.

Making the move

Determining how you will actually change your job, is just as important as making the initial decision that it is time for a change.  Ensuring that your transition is as smooth and as painless as possible will reduce the amount of stress during your move and make it easier for all parties involved.  When you change jobs, it is vital that you consider the following:

  • Planning – Going into your transition with a plan can make your move simpler and help you avoid decisions that can leave you feeling remorseful.  With clear-cut goals and a plan to accomplish those goals, you can avoid job gaps or being left without a job altogether.  Ensuring you have a new position lined up before you quit your current job, that you have researched the role for which you are leaving, and that you understand the job responsibilities and type of job you are moving to, can help avoid job change remorse.  Similarly, if you are deciding to go back to school, it is crucial that you thoroughly investigate degree programs, costs, and financial and time requirements before quitting your job.
  • Continuing Education – If you find that a new job or career decision requires a bit more than just familiarizing yourself with new surroundings and co-workers, furthering your education is a definite possibility.  You might not need or be able to go back to school full time, so taking online courses in your spare time could advance your education while at the same time enabling you to complete your job transition.  If online courses seem like a feasible option to getting your job change off on the right foot, take a look at the comprehensive online degree directory that lists online colleges that can fit your career focus.
  • Leaving an employer – As much as you might want to tell your previous employer or co-workers how you really feel, it probably isn’t the best idea unless they are positive feelings.  You don’t want to burn your bridges when you leave a position.  You never know when you might need these people as references or will encounter them again in an entirely different role or situation.  It’s best to just keep your thoughts to yourself and focus on your job change.
  • Your attitude – One of the most important aspects in leaving one job to begin another, is your mind set.  It’s is critical to your success and building relationships at your new job not to carry old baggage into your new role with you.  Go into your new job fresh, without preconceived notions, and willing to keep an open mind regarding co-workers and job duties.  Maintaining a great attitude through your job change process is necessary in maintaining a healthy disposition and beginning your new job with a fresh outlook.

Settling in

Once you’ve make your job change, your transition isn’t over.  In fact, it’s just beginning.  You now have an entirely new work environment in which to learn and evolve.  Use this opportunity to your advantage and make it what you want it to be — that is, whatever you didn’t have at your previous job.  This is your chance to take the bull by the horns.  It’s likely you don’t know anyone at this new position.  Therefore, you have the opportunity to be anyone you’d like to be.  If you were the “yes man”, the “quiet guy” or the “kiss up” at your old job, use this chance to create your own new person, the person you always wanted to be at work.  Look at your job change as a fresh start.  Your new role can serve as a blank canvas on which you can paint your ‘new self’ and start a fresh chapter in your career and life.